Future-friendly infrastructure

The realisation that the current way of life and economy cannot guarantee the well-being of humans on a long-term basis, even influences it significantly in a negative way, made ‘Sustainability’ become a key word.

The national sustainability strategy initiated in 2002 by the German Federal Government asks for a reinforced consideration of aspects in terms of sustainability and climate relevance. Until now bridge structures, tunnels and other transport infrastructure systems have been – in addition to aspects of durability, robustness and usability – mainly assessed by their simple economic efficiency. Sustainability criteria were and are still neglected to a great extend.
In this respect there is actual need to determine criteria for calls for tender and assessment of future-friendly, sustainable structures.

SSF Ingenieure AG is a member of the working group "Sustainability assessment of infrastructure (2111000)" of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development BMVBS

The working group "Infrastructure projects", founded in 2009, examines the applicability and transferability of the procedure elaborated by the German Sustainable Building Council as assessment procedure for transport infrastructure, it makes recommendations on necessary revisions and elaborates based on the analysis a draft for an assessment procedure of essential elements of transport infrastructure (road, rail, waterways, airports, bridges, tunnels, etc.). In the framework of pilot studies the results are then evaluated and refined for the phases of project planning, call for tenders and contract award.In the framework of the research programme of the BMVBS and the Federal Highway Research Institute BASt a priority programme on the subject sustainability of infrastructure is being developed.Pilot study on the assessment procedure for sustainability of road bridges in the life cycle (15.522)In the context of the sub-project "Development of standardized assessment criteria for infrastructure in view of sustainability" a first approach for a holistic life cycle-related assessment of road infrastructure has been described. It is divided into the main groups "Ecological quality", "Economic quality", "Social and functional quality", "Technological quality" and "Process quality", to each of which individual assessment criteria are attributed. The procedure is verified in the framework of a pilot study conducted on four different bridges.SSF Ingenieure AG participated decisively at this sub-project and is currently working on another sub-project "Sustainability analysis of tunnels".